Council continues to support outdoor dining

Alfresco dining could soon become more common with Kempsey Shire Council waiving outdoor dining application fees for businesses for a further five years.

Council has extended a moratorium on the payment of fees for both new and existing outdoor dining applications within the Kempsey Shire, villages and town centres to 30 June 2025, following the adoption of the NSW Outdoor Dining Policy 2019 at the October Council meeting.

Council’s Manager Commercial Business, Gayleen Burley, said the policy will help reduce red tape for businesses when applying for an outdoor dining permit.

“Council has waived outdoor dining application fees for businesses since 2015 when it was first introduced to Smith Street and the Kempsey CBD as part of the Bypass Strategy,” Ms Burley said.

“Since then we have seen an increase in the number of outdoor dining venues, with 23 in total across the shire.

“The policy makes it easier for food businesses to expand their existing dining activities outdoors onto public land adjacent to their existing premises by streamlining the application process and fast-tracking the approval process.”

Ms Burley said with the opening of the Kempsey Cinema imminent, the policy would hopefully increase opportunities for the day and night-time economy in the Kempsey CBD.

“The cinema is expected to attract increased numbers of residents and visitors to the Kempsey CBD so by making the process easier it will hopefully encourage more businesses to consider moving their dining experience outside,” she said.

“Outdoor dining benefits both the community and businesses as it creates a vibrant atmosphere, encourages growth in hospitality businesses and the wider economy.”

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